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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Shooters called in to kill ‘man-eater’ leopard in Udaipur

The leopard had killed a 10-year-old girl in Patiya village under Girva tehsil of the district on Tuesday.

jaipur Updated: Aug 14, 2019 13:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
The forest department in Rajasthan’s Udaipur has deployed shooters and extra force to hunt down a leopard declared a ‘man-eater’.
The forest department in Rajasthan’s Udaipur has deployed shooters and extra force to hunt down a leopard declared a ‘man-eater’.(HT File photo)
         

The forest department in Rajasthan’s Udaipur has deployed shooters and extra force to hunt down a leopard declared a ‘man-eater’ after the endangered animal killed a girl on Tuesday, its third prey in last the 22 days.

The leopard had killed the 10-year-old girl in Patiya village under Girva tehsil of the district on Tuesday. The big cat had pounced at the girl when she was grazing her cattle and dragged for 100 metres before anyone could help her. The villagers started pelting stones at the leopard after which it ran away.

Following the incident, villagers staged a protest and demanded that the leopard must be declared a man-eater.

Before that, a 15-year-old boy was killed by a leopard on August 5 in Chanwda village of the district and a 40-year old man died after the big cat attacked him on July 24.

As the villagers were protesting with the boy’s body, the leopard returned and dragged it away from the midst of 50-odd villagers. However, the body was later recovered from a spot about 150 metres away.

The state’s chief wild warden Arindam Tomar said the leopard has been declared man-eater.

“The department is sending an additional team for patrolling, tracking and hunting the animal. The team of Wildlife Institute of India is rushing to Udaipur. Two experts’ tranquillisers have also been sent and the chief conservator of forest (wildlife) too is camping there,” Tomar said.

A senior official said, on the condition of anonymity, that the leopard is probably attacking humans because it is not able to hunt and killing humans is easy. It could also be injured or old, the official added.

The forest department had installed six-seven cages and deployed around 80 guards around the clock after the first leopard attack.

Leopard is an endangered animal under schedule one of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The big cat’s population in Rajasthan has declined over the years. According to the 2015 wildlife census, there are 434 leopards in the state.

In 2017, Rajasthan had become the first state in the country to launch a project to conserve leopards by improving their prey base, mitigating conflicts with humans and controlling poaching.

First Published: Aug 14, 2019 13:17 IST

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